Agapes (Toulouse)

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There’s a new addition to the Saint-Aubin neighborhood! Bistrot des Sales Gosses has given way to Agapes, run by Toulouse native Arnaud Darbas and Virigine Béziaud from the Vendée department, both of whom have impressive credentials to their names (La Chèvre d’Or in Eze, La Vague d’Or in Saint-Tropez). Served à la carte the day we went, there was an exhilarating meagre crudo marinated with citrus fruits and ginger, cozied up against a spelt wheat salad dressed in ponzu sauce and dotted with satsuma mandarin quarters, pomegranate seeds, diced daikon radish and fried freekeh; excellent veal rump from La Table de Solange in the Aveyron, seared until medium-rare and then drizzled in the meat’s juices, and paired with pan-fried wild mushrooms (porcini, sweet tooth mushrooms, cauliflower fungus) and a baked ziti casserole made with more of the same mushrooms; before a mouthwatering Guyot pear dessert prepared like a tarte Bourdaloue, with cream, poached pear and pear sorbet, all sprinkled with dried pear skin powder. // Gérard Roubeix 

FEELING THIRSTY? : Low-intervention wines – Pontias, a Rhone white from the Domaine Chaume-Arnaud (€6 a glass), Essentielle, a Gascon white from the Domaine Herrebouc (€26 a bottle), K’lybre, a minervois produced by Lauraire des Lys (€30) – or locally brewed lager from Le Gué des Moines (€5.50 for 330 ml).  
PRICE: : Set menu €21-25 (weekday lunch), à la carte €44-48. 

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